Private Duty Services - What should I ask?

Here are some questions to ask if you are seeking an agency:

  • Most important question – is your agency licensed?
  • What specific services does your agency offer?
  • Are the caregivers employees of the company or independent contractors (this is important because if they are not employees then they do not have insurance and are not bonded)?
  • Do you run criminal background checks on employees?
  • Do you hire applicants that have a criminal background? If yes, what criteria do you use to hire someone with a criminal background?
  • Is a Department of Transportation check done to verify driving record.
  • Do you require caregiving experience? How many years?
  • Are you bonded and insured? Do you have workers’ compensation insurance?
  • Does your agency take care of all payroll taxes?
  • Will we be able to meet the caregiver before they start working?
  • How many caregivers will care for my loved one?
  • Does the company provide ongoing training (ask specifically about areas that may be of a concern such as dementia)?
  • Do you have someone on-call during the evening hours and on weekends? How long will it take to receive a call back if you leave a message?
  • What if my caregiver is sick? Will you find another caregiver?
  • Is a supervisor available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if there is an emergency? If not, who handles emergencies?
  • How often will a supervisor do a home visit with the caregiver and talk to the family? Is there any other type of supervision that occurs?
  • Is the doctor involved? How often do you look at a plan of care for our loved one?
  • If we need to increase or decrease hours, how much notice will you need?
  • How often am I billed?
  • What are your hourly rates? Do you have different rates for the holidays? Do you have rates for 24 hour care?
  • How often do your rates change and how will I be notified?
  • How do I communicate with my caregivers? Do I call the caregiver directly to make changes to the schedule?

If you are still not sure, ask to meet the agency for a face to-face interview. This should help you make a final decision. Never be afraid to ask questions and confirm what you are hearing. Take your time…it’s an important decision!

York, Dallastown, Red Lion, Hellam, Wrightsville, Dover, Spring Grove, Hanover and the surrounding communities

Each Visiting Angels agency is a franchise that is independently owned and operated. The Franchisor, Living Assistance Services Inc., does not control or manage the day to day business operations of any Visiting Angels franchised agency.